As of today I have a new rule…a bad day at work equals a good bottle of wine. Today happened to be a bad day at work so I thought I’d try out the new rule and open a good bottle of wine. Since it’s been ages, I thought I’d do a quick review as well….a review of the wine, not of my bad day.
As if we didn’t have enough wine the day before, dad and I headed out the very next day and had a bit more.
Dusted Valley – We’d planned to go here the day prior but it was just too nuts. They were having a wine club pick up and I must say that I love the way this wine club works. You get to pick the wines you want, and I don’t just mean from the new releases. They had over a dozen wines to taste and club members could choose whatever they wanted for their club allotment . We liked everything we tried but really loved The Barrell Thief Red (a Sangiovese/Tempranillo blend) and The Stained Tooth Syrah. (The wine club is called The Stained Tooth Society – love it!) Great wines, super nice people and a great wine club….and have I mentioned they use screw tops on all their wines? I’m a big fan of that. This was my first visit but I will certainly be back.
Gifford Hirlinger – This is a couple doors down from Dusted Valley. It’s another Eastern Washington winery (Walla Walla) that decided to open up a tasting room in Woodinville. They had a nice line up of wines and great prices…AND a great sale was in progress…50% off! Of course I had to take advantage of that. I loved their Merlot and the 2007 LV, which is a Cabernet made with grapes from Napa. Yes, I said Napa. Every year they get grapes from Napa and make a Cab. It was phenomenal.
Fine Wine & Cigars – Dad and I attended their Semi Annual Winemakers Event. I love this event! Picture it if you will…a big/beautiful wine shop full of winemakers sampling their juice. It’s always very well done. This time there were quite a few wineries I’d never heard of or had heard of but had never had the chance to taste their wines. Of course there were some well-known and well-loved wines and wine makers as well. Really a very nice event. Some standouts were:
Tasting notes and comments from Woodinville trip on 11-14. Yeah, it’s been that long since I’ve updated this blog. What can I say? I’m hoping to do better in the New Year.
Isenhower – This is a new tasting room that dad and I were really happy to hear about. We’ve been fans of their wines (especially the Cab Franc, also called “The Road Less Traveled”) for a long time. We’re glad they opened a tasting room over here as we don’t get to Walla Wall very often. The space is shared with Maison Bleue and is really well done. The colors are great and there is plenty of room. It helps that we liked everything they poured. Dad is a member of the wine club but if I remember correctly, there is no tasting fee for non-members either. Wines are great, labels are pretty and the prices are fantastic!
Maison Bleue – as mentioned, they share a space with Isenhower. I hadn’t heard of this winery at all until the joint tasting room opened up. They make a very nice Viognier and we also tried a nice Grenache. From what I read on their website, they concentrate on Rhone varieties. I look forward to tasting more of what they have to offer.
J Bookwalter – Another great example of a tasting room opening up on this side of the mountains. Dad and I had been to their Richland location once (many years ago) but now that they’re local we’re there much more frequently. Their tasting room (also called a “tasting studio”) is really nice. It’s huge and is located next to Mark Ryan and Ross Andrew…a triple threat. The wines are very good and can be found in all price ranges. The Subplot and The Protagonist seemed to be everyone’s favorites on this trip. Oh, and the names of the wines have a literary theme which I think is great! Neat place all around.
Ross Andrew – As always, this was a great stop. Ross is as nice and as welcoming as can be. And his wines…wow. He had a new Cabernet/Syrah release that was great and almost got purchased by me…until I had his damn Cabernet. I buy his Cab every time I’m there, even when I go in thinking that I won’t; I can’t stay away from it! I also can’t keep them around the house and drink them as soon as I buy them. Seriously, this is one of my favorite Cabs right now. All the wines are stellar, but that Cab…
Adams Bench – What a nice treat to be able to visit them again! They aren’t open often but happened to be pouring today so we stopped by. Once again I loved the Myth – a Cab Franc/Merlot blend. All three wines were very good and I don’t believe I saw anyone leaving empty handed. Erica Blue (one of the owners) was pouring and really having a good time talking with everyone. As a result, she made it an enjoyable experience for everybody – it’s always contagious to be around people that love what they’re doing.
Pomum – This was his once a year release and a great time was had by all! The new release was “Tinto” which is a Tempranillo (80%) and Cabernet (20%) blend. Great wine! The other wines that were being poured were the Syrah and the Shya Red – a Bordeaux blend that I flip for. The music was good, the passed appetisers looked great (I was holding Vegas so we didn’t sample anything – much to his disappointment!) and everyone there seemed to be having a great time. In fact, I didn’t want to leave!
Hestia – They were tasting the new Cabernet and the new Merlot, both were fantastic! The new Merlot is all bright fruit, very little tannins and absolutely wonderful! The Cabernet is young but drinking really well. Good fruit here too although (as expected with a Cab) a bit more tannins. I loved both and bought both. I don’t know that I’ve ever been here and not left with at least a couple bottles.
William Church – The latest release of Bishop’s Blend is here and it’s fantastic! We stopped by for a quick taste and to say hello to Margot (from Write for Wine) who was there talking to people about social media. William Church is one of the Woodinville wineries that is active on Facebook and Twitter. They’ve even incorporated a neat new contest. You’ll have to check them out to see what I’m talking about.
Patterson – We always look for an excuse to stop here. Sometimes we stop with no excuse at all. This time we could blame it on the Malbec. Patterson Cellars just released a 2006 Malbec and it’s fantastic! I’m not always wild about Malbec on its own so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m so glad I didn’t just pass it up thinking that I wouldn’t like it. I loved it – even bought a bottle! As usual, we loved the people there too.
Baer – Arctos release party and a super-duper sale on Ursa…of course we had to stop by! As is always true with Baer – everything was fantastic. The Ursa is consistently one of my favorite blends in Woodinville. The blend in the Arctos changes from year to year but is also very good. I like it best when it is Cabernet dominant, which it is again. And I can’t wait until they release their Cab Franc! They’ve never done a Cab Franc varietal and I’m betting that the wait is going to be well worth it.